cetacean to human
developing the Seadragon software
an open source computer program for the scientific research of Cetacean acoustic communication
(this page): http://c2h.sourceforge.net/
summary page: http://sourceforge.net/projects/c2h/
Seadragon (aka. Leafy Seadragon) is an open source computer program for the scientific research of Cetacean acoustic communication.
Seadragon allows live interaction with dolphins by using underwater whistles. Seadragon recognizes whistles (by matching their frequencies with whistles in memory) and displays the whistle's names or identifiers. Users emit underwater whistles by typing whistles' names.
Software license CPL: anyone can use Seadragon for free, and even better, anyone can improve it.
Minimal equipment (for a standalone configuration, e.g., no Internet connection):
a PC or any other device running Java 5 or later,
two hydrophones, one of which must be able to emit,
a hardware interface connecting the hydrophones to the PC (ordinary built-in RCA jacks for a microphone and headphones can be used);
Seadragon 2.1 works on Macintosh computers with Mac OS X v. 10.4.4 or later, with Java 5 or later (Java 5 is a free download from Apple).
two-way communication experiments are required to research Cetacean acoustic communication;
a specifically designed computer system, such as Seadragon, is required for enabling 2-way communication between Cetaceans and humans in order to bridge the physical barrier between our different acoustic medium and organs;
Seadragon is *not* designed to identify the *meaning* of messages, but to help identify patterns at multiple levels and to convert a given message from one form to another, e.g., from text to underwater whistles, and vice versa; the identification of *meaning* in a message is left to the participants;
Seadragon has multiple control parameters in order to have human users adjust the pattern detection algorithms;
Seadragon is designed for ease of extensibility so that we can change software components as our requirements change while the use of the system helps us learn and improve our understanding of Cetacean communication (i.e., software components will be changed as major changes occur in the communication hypotheses of researchers and as the algorithms of the components are improved over time);
some members of Cetacean species will voluntarily participate in the wild in 2-way communication with humans, for example, members of species such as Tursiops truncatus (bottlenose dolphin), Orcinus Orca (killer whale), Delphinapterus leucas (beluga), Monodon monoceros (narwal), Globicephala melaena (pilot whale), and Balaenoptera acutorostrata (Minke whale);
creativity and intelligence on both sides of the physical barrier is required to make a breakthrough, if such a breakthrough is to occur;
early versions of Seadragon are to be used by both scientists as well as non-scientists; later versions may specialize into different systems in order to satisfy different requirements;
Seadragon is designed primarily for use in the wild, i.e., with Cetaceans that are not captive;
the issue of the use of Seadragon with captive Cetaceans is a difficult and yet unresolved one.
c2h was started on sourceforge.net in June 2001.
Time and equipment are donated by participants.
Although one project associate has some limited experience in researching Cetacean communication, the system is being developed by computer system developers who do not have academic credentials in the field of interspecies communication and scientists with such credentials are welcome to participate.
This project is great fun but also great potential for problems - we'll handle it with care.
Mac and the Mac logo are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
page last updated August 26, 2006
Copyright 2001-2006 Serge Masse. All rights reserved.